4 Panthers players who have risen steadily during the 2022 offseason

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Shi Smith
(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) Shi Smith /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Xavier Woods /

Xavier Woods – Carolina Panthers S

After Xavier Woods was unable to participate in the team’s voluntary OTAs and mandatory minicamp, the safety’s arrival in free agency from the Minnesota Vikings went somewhat overlooked. However, that does not detract from what an important player he’ll be for the Carolina Panthers in 2022.

Woods has fitted in seamlessly to the Panthers defense in camp, demonstrating consistency alongside Jeremy Chinn on the backend and also improving communication to further enhance his status.

The former sixth-round selection certainly looks the part. Woods also received praise from head coach Matt Rhule for the way he’s established himself in a relatively short space of time.

This has the potential to add another dimension to Carolina’s gifted secondary, which might be among the league’s best if everyone stays free of injuries and reaches expectations. There was a lot to like about Woods’ bounce-back season with the Vikings in 2021 and his presence could provide Chinn with the stable partner that was missing last time around.

Woods could be one of the team’s best signings of the offseason based on what we’ve seen so far. The Louisiana Tech product looks like a tremendous fit that should provide an immediate upgrade next to Chinn if he carries this into the regular season.